Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer.
Someone asked me about this recently, and as so often happens, I decided to take a question someone asked me in real life and write a blog post about it.
Since you have to pay to advertise on Facebook, and you also have to pay to boost a Facebook post, I thought I would talk about how they differ, as well as the pros and cons of each.
Boosting a post on Facebook costs at least $1/day, although you can choose to spend more if you want to reach more people. I haven’t used Facebook advertising, but it looks like their cost structure is similar to boosted posts. Facebook says you can pay as little as $1/day, but you can spend much, much more if you have the funds for an aggressive Facebook campaign and you decide it makes sense for your business.
What Is a Boosted Post?
Boosting a post means your post will show up in your audience’s feed, along with all the posts their friends are putting up about where they’re going, what they’re doing, and with whom. It looks just like any other post, except it says “Suggested Post” in gray towards the top.
If you put up a post on your Facebook page and choose not to boost it, it will only show up in the feeds of the people who are already following your page on Facebook. In order to grow your following of your Facebook page, Facebook ads and boosted posts are probably the best way to do that, although you can also promote your page on other social media channels, on your website, and you can encourage existing clients to like your Facebook page.
What Is an Advertisement?
Instead of showing up in a person’s feed as they scroll through, advertisements on Facebook show up on the side of the screen and say “Sponsored” in gray at the top. That section of the screen is dedicated to advertisements and users know that, so a lot of them (myself included) tend to ignore that section of the screen and focus on their feed.
That means advertisements have to work harder to get people’s attention, usually through great visuals. Moving visuals, such as a series of rotating photos, or better yet, a video, are more effective at attracting and holding people’s attention.
Which Is Best?
It’s all about putting your dollar where it will have the greatest impact. Small businesses have a limited budget and they want to get the most out of their advertising dollars, which is why I generally recommend boosted posts over advertisements. But like I said, I haven’t actually tried Facebook advertisements, so you might want to try both for yourself and see which works out best.
I know when I’m on Facebook, I don’t even look at the advertisements. I think boosted posts are much more valuable, especially if you’re not trying to sell anything directly. I put a link to my blog in my boosted posts, which means people will see my content (rather than a sell) show up in their Facebook feed with the rest of their notifications. If I’m successful, my content should take them from my blog post to signing up for my newsletter, and hopefully to my contact page to reach out to me directly.
That said, with the recent announcement that Facebook will be changing its algorithm (again) to favor content from friends and family members over content from from brands and businesses, neither advertisements nor boosted posts are going to be as valuable as they once were. Audience engagement will rule, which means getting people to like your brand’s Facebook page and setting it as one of their favorites will be a must-have strategy. If you have loads of money to spend on Facebook advertising, it might be worthwhile for you to go that route, especially given how much time the average American spends on Facebook every day.
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